2013 Festival Talent

Allow us to introduce this year's confirmed talent scheduled to appear at the
2nd Annual Saint Simons Food & Spirits Festival, October 1-6, 2013.
Click on each name to read more about them.

Chef Linton Hopkins
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Chef/Owner Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House, H & F Bread Co., H & F Bottle Shop, H & F Burger at Turner Field and Eugene Kitchen. Hopkins was a Food & Wine Magazine "Best New Chef" in 2009 and featured as the stand out "Best New Chef" for 2009 in their July 2013 issue and he was named 2012 Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation.


Linton Hopkins is an internationally celebrated chef with deep Atlanta roots. With his wife, Gina, the couple opened Restaurant Eugene on Peachtree Road in 2004 and quickly caught the attention of media and food lovers throughout the country with their unique vision of hospitality and community-driven cuisine.


Hopkins is especially committed to celebrating the rich bounty of Georgia farms through his meticulous and loving house-made preparations of natural meats and fresh, local produce. He helped found the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market, and is a member of Georgia Organics chef’s advisory committee, the Atlanta Local Foods Initiative, and Food & Wine Magazine’s Grow for Good campaign. Hopkins served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Southern Foodways Alliance during 2012 and was awarded the honor of harvesting vegetables at the White House Garden with Michelle Obama, DC School children and the White House Chef to celebrate the First Lady’s Chef's Move to Schools Initiative. He remains insistent that making mayonnaise from scratch, and teaching others to do the same, can change the world.



Meet Chef Hopkins at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – A Study in Shrimp

Friday, October 4th – Friday Night Festival Feast presented by McGinty-Gordon

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Saturday, October 5th – Culinary Creations Cooking Stage presented by Atlantic National Bank

Tiffanie Faison
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Chef/Owner Sweet Cheeks Q, Top Chef runner-up in 2006 and Top-Chef All-Stars participant in 2010.


Chef Tiffani Faison has been surrounded by diverse cultures and exceptional cuisine since childhood. Born in Northern Germany, she travelled the globe and was exposed to a wide range of foods. In fall 2011, she opened Sweet Cheeks Q, a Southern­Style Barbecue restaurant in Boston’s Fenway Park neighborhood, which received a “three­star” review from The Boston Globe. The restaurant is the first restaurant that Tiffani has had full creative vision for and draws inspiration from her love of barbecue and extensive travels in the South.


Tiffani has been featured in SELF, Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine and Food & Wine. She was one of eighteen chefs invited to compete in Bravo’s Top Chef All­Stars in 2010 where she established herself as a new fan favorite. She has been a guest on the TODAY SHOW, SIMPLY MING and several other national and local shows and has been a contributing chef to numerous cookbooks.


Meet Chef Faison at the following festival events:

Thursday, October 3rd – Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Saturday, October 5th – Culinary Creations Cooking Stage presented by Atlantic National Bank 

Jonathan and Justin Fox
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Chef/Owners of Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q


Growing up in Texas, Jonathan and Justin Fox were inspired by the open sky, the Texas heat and the southern spice of life. After scouring Atlanta for the perfect barbecue joint, the brothers decided to take matters into their own hands. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q started as a friendly backyard gathering with family and friends eating good barbecue. The backyard get-together turned into cooking for over 200 people including live music.


Today Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q has become an Atlanta staple, with features on Good Day Atlanta, CBS Better Mornings, The Weather Channel, TLC and Fox News. They have earned top spots on bar-b-q rankings from top publications like Eater, USA Today Travel, Daily Candy and Maxim Magazine. With fresh renovations to their flagship restaurant, Fox Bros. continues to serve Atlanta’s favorite bar-b-q to their extensive fan base. The Fox brothers have no intentions of slowing down and believe that it’s not only important to achieve your goals, but it is even more important to maintain them.


Meet The Fox Brothers at the following festival events:

Thursday, October 3rd – Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living 

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Jimmy Hagood
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Owner/Pitmaster of Food for the Southern Soul, Tidewater Catering and BlackJack Barbecue


For owner Jimmy Hagood, Food for the Southern Soul™ isn't just the name of his specialty food and catering business; it is his way of life. As a barbecue impresario and an advocate of coastal South Carolina's unique culinary culture, he has brought national visibility to the art of barbecue cooking, and further elevated high-quality Southern pantry items.


Under the Food for the Southern Soul™ umbrella, Hagood has combined his own BlackJack Barbecue™ Sauces and Rubs and Tidewater Foods & Catering with the well-known Charleston Favorites line.


Meet Jimmy Hagood and see the Big Red Rig at the following festival event:

Thursday, October 3rd at The Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque 

Griffin Bufkin and Harrison Sapp
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Griffin Bufkin and Harrison Sapp, Pitmaster and Proprietor of Southern Soul BBQ.


Harrison serves as proprietor and pitmaster at St. Simons Island establishment Southern Soul Barbeque, which serves award-winning barbecue to locals and visitors from across the country. Harrison Sapp was born in Macon, Ga. and raised in Brunswick, Ga. After a series of local jobs in St. Simons and a brief resort stint in Hawaii, Sapp returned to St. Simons Island, where he began his climb the local restaurant industry ladder. Harrison quickly progressed from bus boy to bartender, then to chef and eventually manager of a slew of local restaurants. Sapp’s driving motivation in life is to make people happy through outstanding dining experiences, with particular focus on exceptional barbecue. In 2007, after a series of hugely successful barbecue pop-up dinners, Sapp and co-owner Griffin Bufkin opened Southern Soul Barbeque in a renovated gas station at the historic crossroads of St. Simons Island. As pitmaster, Harrison Sapp has led Southern Soul to acclaim from outlets such as Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Huffington Post and more.


Meet Griffin and Harrison at the following festival events:


Wednesday, October 2nd at the Southern Soul BBQ Alfresco Dinner
Thursday, October 3rd at The Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque
Saturday, October 5th at The Tasting Tent  

Hallie Arnold
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Head Bartender, The Grocery Restaurant in Charleston S.C.


Hallie (short for “Hallelujah”) Arnold serves up more than delicious cocktails as head bartender at The Grocery. Her bubbly personality, extensive knowledge of cocktail history and her unique take on classic cocktails, such as the “Bite the Bulleit” or the “Italian Side Car,” brings customers back time and again.


At The Grocery, Hallie is inspired by the fresh ingredients and wonderful dishes coming from the kitchen. With a variety of ingredients at her fingertips, she often crafts cocktails with flavorful infusions, from fresh herbs to the brine from the restaurant’s house-pickled vegetables. Her beet-garnished cocktail helped her win “People’s Choice” at the 2013 Charleston Wine + Food Official Mixologist Competition – her first professional competition.


Meet Hallie Arnold at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – Friday Afternoon Mixer

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch 

Arianne Fielder
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Beverage Manager, Head “Mixtress” – Article 14 in Atlanta, Ga.


As beverage manager and “head mixtress” for Article 14, Arianne Fielder is designing an inspired beverage program that includes craft cocktails made with innovative ingredients and techniques, housemade sodas, artisan coffees, craft beers and eclectic wines. To ensure the success of her beverage program, Fielder enjoys being at the bar nightly to interact with guests. Inspired by fresh, seasonal flavors, her goal is to create a bar program with ingenuity and integrity for the Buckhead community and guests to enjoy.


Fielder has garnered experience from several notable Atlanta restaurants, most recently as head mixologist of Southern Art restaurant and Bourbon Bar where she designed the beverage menus and cocktails for celebrity chef Art Smith. Fielder has also served as head bartender at Atlanta’s acclaimed neighborhood tavern Ormsby’s, where she created the first ever beer cocktail menu in the South, and more than six years at Atlanta’s oldest bar, the Five Paces Inn. She was named runner-up to “Atlanta’s Best Bartender” in the 2011 Barcraft Competition at Taste of Atlanta. In 2012, she won first place in the Berentzen competition.



Meet Arianne Fielder at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – Friday Afternoon Mixer

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch

Jackson Holland
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Beverage Director, The Cocktail Club in Charleston, S.C.


Formerly bar manager at fellow Indigo Road restaurant and celebrated Charleston favorite, The Macintosh, Holland brings a wealth of craft cocktail knowledge and 13 years of distinguished experience to the table in his new role.


Holland, a certified level one sommelier, has been the recipient of much recognition throughout his career, including a 2011 Garden & Gun “Made in the South” award for Charleston Bold and Spicy Bloody Mary mix, a product he co-created. His skills were also touted at the 2010 Ketel One Classic, where he was named a semifinalist for his Orange Flower Water Fizz cocktail and was selected as a 2009 semifinalist in the Charleston’s Next Top Cocktail competition with the Poison Jack Apple.


During his tenure, The Macintosh has received a nod from Bon Appetit as one of the 50 Best New Restaurants of 2012, along with a 2012 Best New Restaurant award from Esquire and a 2012 semifinalist placement for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation.


Meet Jackson Holland at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – Friday Afternoon Mixer

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch 

Libbie Summers
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Culinary producer, food and props stylist, recipe developer and writer. www.libbiesummers.com


Libbie Summers is an accomplished television culinary producer, stylist, lifestyle trendsetting blogger and author. Her first solo book, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli, 2011) was a National Foreword Book Award finalist with accolades from the New York Times to Fox News. Libbie's blog "Salted and Styled" won the 2013 IACP Best Blog award. Look for delicious, stunning, inventive and irreverent things from her second solo book, Sweet and Vicious –baking with an attitude (Rizzoli, September 2014). 


Meet Libbie Summers at the following festival events:

Thursday, October 3rd – Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living

Saturday, October 5th – The Market presented by Viloa’s Market

Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch

Timmy Stubbs
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Owner of Native Seafood


Timmy Stubbs, founder of Native Seafood, is a friend of strenuous work ethic. Then again, growing up in Brunswick, GA around shrimping legends (including family) who have contributed to the history of Georgia shrimping leaves no room for easy living. He isn't just another shrimper kept from his family too long on the hunt for crustaceans. His first steps as a child were on his "sea legs" on his family's shrimp boat, going from rail to rail. This is exactly why the third-generation shrimper continues his tireless working philosophy of getting Wild Georgia shrimp straight from the boat to chefs and customers. His shrimp are made by Mother Nature, ultimately for the diner's health and pleasure. Stubbs says that the natural sweet flavor Georgia shrimp possess comes from a combination of the filtration in Georgia's waters, part of the longest continuous salt marsh in the world and the sweet Spartina mash grasses that make the perfect breeding and nursery for the larvae. Native Seafood is one of a very small group of shrimpers who believe in all-natural, so no "dip" preservative ever touches his product. If product needs to be held more than 48 hours before it hits the diner’s table, flash freezing is the way to go. The Native Seafood client list is impressive, he delivers to Atlanta at least twice a week, sometimes more, stopping at the who's who of best restaurants: Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch, Muss and Turner's, Local Three, Woodfire Grill, The Optimist, JCT Kitchen, Gunshow, the list goes on. Timmy's mission is simple, to get people seafood how it's supposed to be, natural and without poisons. 


Meet Timmy Stubbs at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – A Study in Shrimp

Carolyn O'Neill
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Noted nutrition expert, award winning food journalist and television personality CAROLYN O'NEIL, MS, RD shares her refreshing food philosophy- “The More You Know, The More You Can Eat!” . www.carolynoneil.com

 

Carolyn reported on food and travel at CNN for nearly 20 years and is currently busy finishing up Slim Down South to be published in December 2013 by Oxmoor House, Southern Living’s first healthy southern cookbook!
Carolyn is also the co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous! (Simon & Schuster, Atria Books) – Winner “Best Health and Nutrition Book” at the World Food Media awards.

 

Carolyn writes a weekly column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Healthy Eating Out”, contributes to WebMD as a nutrition expert and appears on the Food Network as “The Lady in the Refrigerator” a recurring nutrition expert on Alton Brown’s hit Food Network program Good Eats. A celebrated food writer specializing in dining out, Carolyn is a contributor to The Atlantan Magazine, a Modern Luxury publication and is the Health & Nutrition Editor for Healthy Travel Magazine.

 

Carolyn’s CNN reporting on food and health earned two James Beard Foundation Awards. She is a member of the James Beard Who’s Who in Food and Beverage and serves on the National Committee overseeing judging of the James Beard Foundation Awards. She is a founding member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International, Atlanta Chapter. You can follow her on blog at www.dishondieting.blogspot.com 


Meet Carolyn at the following festival events:

Friday, October 4th – Friday Night Festival Feast presented by McGinty-Gordon
Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living
Saturday, October 5th – The Market presented by Viloa’s Market

Eric Culberson Band
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The Eric Culberson Band hails from Savannah, GA and is steeped in Blues tradition. They are a very popular, high energy three piece band that has been pleasing audiences for over 20 years on the road in countless clubs, festivals and private occasions. With over a million miles on the road, the ECB are definitely seasoned musicians that have built a reputation based on consistency, dependability, and professionalism.

 

The ECB's material consists of many different styles of Blues music, from "gut-bucket" Delta Blues (Muddy Waters, Louisiana Red, ) to Urban Funk Blues (Son Seals, Freddy King), to Texas Swing (Albert Collins, the Vaughn Brothers), to Chicago Blues (Jr Wells, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Elmore James), so everyone in the audience gets the best of many worlds. The ECB also have over 2 dozen original compositions that have appealed to the music lovers looking not only for traditional Blues music, but fresh new energy and material as well. Here's what the critics have said about the originals...

 

Blues Review: "A virtual tour de force of fret-burning guitar work. (Culberson) has developed a mature Texas-meets-Chicago sound that generates sparks without being overwrought or flashy. And most promising of all, there isn't a weak cut on the entire album. Guitarist and vocalist Eric Culberson reintroduces the public to what Texas blues guitar sounded like in the pre-Vaughan era when the genre was defined by the likes of Freddie King, Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins"

 

Real Blues Magazine: "This one transcends color/cultural barriers and I'm inclined to believe this boy's from somewhere down in cottonmouth country. Put this one on your must-have list. It's a real blues delight. King Snake has a big blues talent with potential to conquer the blues world." Rated.- 5 big bottles."

Living Blues: "Culberson is working toward defining a contemporary vocabulary and style for electric blues, a difficult but crucial task if the genre is to remain vital. A powerful album that never sags for a moment, "No Rules to the Game" is required listening."

 

CD Review Magazine: "If you haven't heard of this talent I suggest you check out this CD. Fans of Tinsley Ellis are sure to like this recording."

But that's not all. The boys can Rock n Roll, too. Having opened for Johnny Winter, J Geils, Ted Nugent just to name a few, the ECB can take the Blues places most Blues bands cannot successfully. Fluent in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and the Rolling Stones, they recently released an 11 song disc, ' In the Outside" featuring all original Rock n Roll, ranging from Ballads to Barn Burners. If you want the best bang for your buck, these guys are who you want to talk to. " I can play anywhere for a dollar. I like to think of playing in venues as an investment for us and the club owner/festival promoter. I want to build the clientele, meet people and make new friends to come back to over and over. We love what we do, and we do what we love." Culberson says.

 


See the Eric Culberson Band at the following festival events:

Thursday, October 3rd – Maker’s Mark BBQ Pro-Am presented by Sea Island and Southern Soul Barbeque

Gena Knox
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Culinary writer, cookbook author and owner of Fire & Flavor. www.genaknox.com

 

Hailing from a long line of talented Southern cooks, Knox learned her way around the kitchen at a young age. After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture, she chose to follow her passion for food, starting a fresh salsa company that soon turned into a catering business. Before long, she returned to Georgia to take a landscape architecture job with Sea Island Resort which allowed her to fulfill her other passions for gardening and design.

 

In 2003, Gena founded Fire & Flavor , a company specializing in all natural cooking and flavor enhancement products such as grilling planks, brines, and rubs. The company took off, and now Gena and her husband sell to more than 15,000 stores nationwide. Knox’s culinary instincts and knack for creating approachable dishes led to her first cookbook, Gourmet Made Simple, published in May 2008. Southern My Way: Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors followed two years later and received the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Its success led Gena to follow it up with Southern My Way: Food & Family in stores October 15th. Atlanta photographer Brian Woodcock shot the four-color food and lifestyle photography throughout.


Meet Gena Knox at the following festival events:

Saturday, October 5th – VIP Riverside Sporting Club presented by Elegant Island Living
Saturday, October 5th – The Market presented by Viloa’s Market
Saturday, October 5th – Local Flavors Tasting Tent presented by Sea Pak
Saturday, October 5th – Culinary Creations Cooking Stage presented by Atlantic National Bank
Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch

Marilyn Markel
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Marilyn Markel, currently the cooking school manager at Southern Season’s flagship store in Chapel Hill, N.C., developed a lifelong passion for food while learning from her grandmother in the kitchen as a child.

 

Her grandmother’s love of cooking inspired Markel; she began her career as an instructor at the Central Market cooking school in Plano, Texas. In 2003 Markel moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to develop CLASS (Culinary Lessons at Southern Season), Southern Season’s brand new cooking school. The cooking school has helped turn Southern Season into a foodie destination and has grown into a nationally recognized culinary center hosting over 300 classes a year for seasoned and novice cooks.

 

Although she teachers many classes herself, she has also worked side-by-side with some of the most renowned local and national chefs such as Martin Yan, Caprial and John Pence, Masaharu Morimoto, Daisy Martinez and Shirley Corriher. Her attention to detail and talented staff have earned her recognition in the culinary industry for offering each chef and guest an exceptional, personalized experience.

 

In 2013, Markel was privileged to act as a judge for the James Beard Cookbook Awards and attended the James Beard Book and Broadcast Awards Ceremony in New York City.

 

David Carrier
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David Carrier spent the majority of his childhood days in his parent’s Northern Italian restaurant in Queens, New York. It was at that young age that true hospitality was etched into his mind.  He enrolled at The French Culinary Institute after earning a degree from Cazenovia College. Upon completion of his culinary degree David moved California to work under Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. It was here where David learned to hone his skills, develop his cooking philosophies, and given the opportunity to work alongside Grant Achatz, then Sous Chef of The French Laundry.  In 2001 David accompanied Grant in a move to the Mid West town of Evanston, Illinois to work at Trio.  When David completed his time at Trio in July of 2004 he began a quest to find his own kitchen. The winter of 2005 brought David and his wife to the South where they opened Avenue Sea in Apalachicola, Florida. This was their first opportunity to work together and their introduction to the marvels of southern hospitality and cuisine. David had the opportunity to return to Chicago to open Kith & Kin in Lincoln Park. His food garnered many accolades and was awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand recognition. 2011 brought David back to the south where entered the resort world for the first time as an Executive Sous Chef at The Cloister and Beach Club on Sea Island. He was promoted to Executive Chef of both in 2012, and currently oversees the culinary operations of the hotel’s dining collection.

 

 

John Helfrich
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Chef John Helfrich, hails from Western Pennsylvania and began his journey to becoming a professional chef by learning his mother’s family recipes and cooking meals for his family at an early age. John attended Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, where after graduating he worked in a few of the areas great restaurants before earning a Sous Chef position at Nemacolin Woodlands. This opened the door to a resort culinary career which included the 5 star signature restaurant Lautrec.  John's path then led him to a small barrier island in Georgia, Sea Island. He was on the opening team as Sous Chef of The Lodge and then was later promoted to Executive Banquet Chef. In addition to his distinguished career path, Chef John has had the opportunity to participate in several amazing events; the Walker Cup, opening three Forbes 5 star hotels, numerous PGA Tour events, and the G-8 Summit at Sea Island in 2004. In 2008, John received a promotion to his current role, Executive Chef of The Lodge and Retreat.

 

 

Jonathan Jerusalmy
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FRENCH MASTER CHEF JONATHAN JERUSALMY,
RESORT EXECUTIVE CHEF AND DIRECTOR OF CULINARY PROGRAMMING AT SEA ISLAND

Chef Jerusalmy, one of only 350 Master French Chefs in the world, is a rising star who has worked and traveled around the globe. He brings his distinguished experience to Sea Island to oversee the various fine and casual dining establishments. With 19 years in the kitchen, Chef has climbed the epicurean ladder, from receiving a Bachelor of Arts in food service, wine technology and hospitality management in 1997 from the Institute Technique des Métiers de L’Alimentation in Tournai, Belgium.  Most recently Chef Jerusalmy served as the Executive Chef of the luxurious St. Regis Atlanta. Jerusalmy’s eclectic background includes stints as the Executive Sous Chef of the St. Regis Monarch Beach in California, Executive Banquet Chef and Executive Sous Chef at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, and Chef de Partie at Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys. Early in his career, Chef completed several prominent internships at Michelin-rated restaurants in France, studying under Master Chef of France Paul Bocuse and Chef Gerard Boyer.  As Resort Executive Chef and Director of Culinary, Jerusalmy is responsible for overseeing the concept and design of restaurant menus, hiring and overseeing restaurant staff, and ensuring that performance in the venues are consistent with Sea Island’s dedication to genuine hospitality and true five-star service  

 

Kris Weimer
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Kris Weimer was born in Latrobe Pennsylvania just east of Pittsburgh at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Hunting and fishing were instilled into his life at a very early age.  His first cooking job was as a short order cook at Indian River State Park when he was seventeen.  On his days off he spent fishing with his grandfather.  He was brought up in a family that nourished the outdoors. Prepping fish and game for the table was a part of growing up. Kris graduated from the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1997. He helped open Red Star Brewery in Greensburg, Pennsylvania as a lead cook. After a year he wanted more and pursued a job at Nemacolin Resort and Spa in Farmington, Pennsylvania.  At Nemacolin, he worked at the Caddy shack, Golden Trout, Lautrec, Hungry Moose and also assisted in banquets.

 

In 1999, he moved to Southeastern Georgia to work for Sea Island. He was a part of the opening team at The Lodge at Sea Island.  There he worked his way up from a cook 2 to a Sous Chef. At The Lodge, is where Kris was influenced by a number of Chefs’ including Todd Rogers, Jeremy Critchfield, and Johannes Klaphdor. In 2004, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida to be Chef de Cuisine of Matthews Restaurant, a four star four diamond restaurant. In 2006, Kris moved back to Sea Island to open the new Cloister Hotel.  At the Cloister, he was Sous Chef of the Main Dining Room (100 Hudson) and later Sous Chef of the River Bar.  In 2008, he moved to Asheville, North Carolina to be Executive Chef of Seven Falls Golf and River Club.  In 2009, Kris was back at the The Lodge as Executive Sous Chef.  In 2012, Kris was promoted as Executive Chef of Ocean Forest Golf Club at Sea Island.

 

 

Kurtis Baguley
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Born and raised in Southern California. Chef Kurtis Graduated from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1985 and followed his passion for everything pastry. Twenty eight years later, he has had the ability to experience everything from developing and operating a self-owned pastry company, teaching professional pastry around the world, working in high-end 5 diamond resorts, to running a large scale artisan bread company. From San Francisco to New York, Salt Lake City to Orlando. Now, in The Golden Isles of Georgia, 5-star Sea Island Resort

 

 

Jacob Gragg
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Since 2009, Jacob has pursued the goal of passing the Master Sommelier Exam.  Jacob currently is the Sommelier of the Georgian Room at the Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia. His current title is as a Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, which he obtained in April of 2012 at the age of 24 making him one of the youngest to have achieved this certification. In addition, he is a Certified Specialist of Wine, Certified Specialist of Spirits, and was named one of the Best New Sommeliers of 2012 by Wine and Spirits Magazine. Jacob is also very active in sommelier competitions and was the South Central representative for the Chaine des Rotisseurs National Best Young Sommelier competition in both 2011 and 2012. When there’s spare time, Jacob volunteers for various charity wine events, promoting the appreciation and enjoyment of fine wine.

 

 

Carrie Morey
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Owner Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

Carrie Morey founded Callie’s Charleston Biscuits in 2005 with the goal of making the tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits of her mother accessible across the country. Touted by Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times and Oprah among others, her biscuits have garnered freezer space in some of the most coveted retail stores in America. Using no machinery whatsoever and with only the finest ingredients, Morey and her small team of bakers are keeping the tradition of Southern biscuit making alive. With seven different varieties of biscuits, a pimento cheese collection, and retailers all over the country, Morey never dreamed that success would taste so good – buttery good that is. Her products are a one-time NASFT (National Association of Specialty Food Trade) gold sofi award recipient and seven-time silver sofi award recipient.


Morey has appeared live on the NBC Today Show and QVC and has been twice profiled by The Food Network’s hit television show Unwrapped. She was chosen as one of Martha Stewarts’s “Dreamers into Doers” in 2008 and profiled on the Martha Stewart Show. Callie’s Biscuits & Southern Traditions: Heirloom Recipes from Our Family Kitchen, Morey’s cookbook and narrative on entrepreneurship and life in the lowcountry is set to debut Fall 2013.

In addition to her role as owner at Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, Morey operates an incubator, offering baking space along with mentoring to small artisan food businesses on location at Callie’s Charleston Biscuit’s bakery. She acts as a consultant to these entrepreneurs – helping them navigate everything from regulations to production and advising on marketing and growth strategies. Morey is a guest lecturer at the College of Charleston School of Business where for over five years she has been a vital part of the curriculum - presenting the Entrepreneurship Class with a yearly project and valuable lessons from a successful and sustainable small business.


 

Tom Delaney

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Owner and chef of Delaney's Bistro and Bar, on St. Simons Island, GA.

 

Tom Delaney is, admittedly, a man of few words. He prefers to let his dishes speak for him. A man of acclaimed kitchen prowess, Tom Delaney has been active in chef quarters for more than four decades. Since he was a teenager, he has had his hands on pots, pans and grills, ready to whip up dishes both classic and creative.


As the owner and executive chef of Delaney’s Bistro and Bar on St. Simons Island, Tom Delaney has a strong culinary background. His family is dotted with cooks, chefs and bakers, and spending time mastering a recipe was simply a back of his childhood. As a teenager, when the family would plan meals for later in the evening, he took to mastering his own dishes, and when it came time for him to pick a route in the world, the kitchen simply kept calling.
After attending and graduating from Johnson and Wales with a Culinary Arts degree, the Connecticut-native then obtained a degree in business management from Providence College. It was there he met his wife Leslie, who brought Tom down to her Golden Isles home.


More than 20 years later, Tom and his family remain on St. Simons, with the family restaurant being as busy as ever. His son, Matthew, runs the front of the house, while Tom mans the kitchen along with his active and loyal staff. His wife, sister-in-law as well as son-in-law are active employees at Delaney’s, adding an intimate element of familiarity to the restaurant’s already charming atmosphere.


Several years ago, Tom added on to his restaurant resume, buying Café Frederica, a breakfast and lunch spot located next door to Delaney’s. That is also a family business, with his daughter Hannah running operations. Hannah, too, has brought a new role to the Delaney line: the family’s first grandchild. In July, Hannah gave birth to a baby girl, aptly naming her Delaney after her grandfather.


At both Delaney’s and Café Frederica, Tom’s business philosophy is simple: work hard, and provide great service, craft excellent food, and be good to your team. This motto has paid off, as most of his employees have worked for him for five or more years, and the majority of his clients are regulars.
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, Delaney’s offers a wide variety of bistro dishes to fit any palette. From Chicken Milanaise and Grilled Duck Steak, to the more than 15 daily specials and the small plate tapas served in the expanded bar area, Delaney’s menu has something for everyone. Each dish, too, can be paired perfectly with one of the dozens of fine wines served at the restaurant.


“The food come first, then comes the wine. Wine is like salt, it adds to the food, and the food adds to the wine,” Tom said. “When people come here, they feel comfortable, to try new things, ask questions and be curious. My goal is to not only please my customers, but to create experiences that bring them back, time and again. So far, it’s worked.”


Delaney’s Bistro & Bar is located at 3415 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, Ga. The bistro is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 6 to 11 p.m. for dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. The bar is open nightly from 5 p.m. until close Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, visit delaneysbistro.com.


 

Matt Gray

imageMatt Gray brings a wealth of world class resort and restaurant experience to his leadership role as the guiding force behind Valor Hospitality’s food and beverage operations. Mr. Gray oversees menu and recipe creation, pricing, procurement, kitchen design and flow, staff recruitment and training and total cost controls across all disciplines.
A graduate of Napier University in Scotland with a BA in Hospitality and Institutional Management, Mr. Gray began his career serving in Chef positions at some of Scotland’s most well-known and respected hotels and country retreats, including, the Greywalls Hotel, the Cromlix House and the Knockinaam Lodge.

 

Subsequently, Mr. Gray worked at the world-famous Inverlochy Castle Hotel, Fort William, Scotland as Pastry Chef and Sous Chef, before being promoted to Executive Chef. Under Mr. Gray’s direction, the hotel was awarded a Michelin Star rating for 9 consecutive years. Travel and Leisure rated Inverlochy as ‘Best Hotel in Europe 2006’ and voted ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by Decanter Magazine 2003.

 

Mr. Gray was later recruited to the US by world renowned French Chef, Albert Roux, to head up Chef Roux’s first American restaurant ‘Chez Roux’ at La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Houston Texas. Under Mr. Gray’s leadership and direction, Chez Roux was voted ‘Best New Restaurant in Houston 2009’.


Meet Matt Gray at the following festival event:
Sunday, October 6th – Spiritual Sunday Brunch

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